Washington won its second straight Mid-Illini Conference girls golf championship Thursday at Lick Creek.
The Lady Panthers finished first in the conference tournament, beating runner-up Metamora by nine strokes.
Allison Kinsinger made the day a perfect one for Washington, earning medalist honors with an 81. That was six strokes better than Morton’s Meagan Makuta (87), who finished in second place in the individual standings.
For host Pekin, winner of seven Mid-Illini titles since joining the conference in 2006, the day was another learning experience in a season filled with on-the-job training.
The young Lady Dragons finished in last place in the eight-team tournament. Their 509 score was 21 strokes higher than seventh-place Limestone (488). Pekin beat Limestone on Monday at Lick Creek in a dual match.
Pekin’s score Thursday was 27 strokes higher than the 482 it shot Saturday at Lick Creek in the Lady Dragon Invitational.
The weather conditions were partly to blame for Pekin’s bad day Thursday. It was mostly cold, windy and rainy after being warm and sunny Saturday. And instead of a double-par maximum score per hole Saturday, the maximum Thursday was 10 per hole.
There was a bigger problem, though.
“Our girls were nervous,” said Pekin coach Chris Neville. “But that’s OK, though, because it means they cared.
“This was our big tournament of the season because we’re not ready to do well in the state competition and after beating Limestone on Monday, we thought maybe we could beat them and another team (Thursday).”
Instead, the all-sophomore Lady Dragons lineup struggled.
Summer Dick (125), Jaden Rogers (125), Kaytlin Elliott (128) and Megan Nelson (131) had counting scores. Madison Raines (132) and Sarah Butler (139) also competed for Pekin.
None had ever played in a conference tournament.
Only nine of 48 golfers shot in double-digits Thursday on a course that’s tough on a pristine day.
“This was a big girl course (Thursday),” Neville said.
Besides Kinsinger and Makuta, the others in double-digits were Metamora’s Kristen Worner (90), Morton’s Lisa Walter (90), Metamora’s Samantha Kerker (94), Washington’s Alyssa Metelak (95), Canton’s Emily Franzoni (96), Metamora’s Mamie Abrosch (97) and Dunlap’s Ellyn Liu (97).
Metamora went 7-0 in conference dual matches and Washington was 6-1, but they changed spots in the conference tournament.
Washington (376), Metamora (385), Morton (387), Dunlap (425), Canton (444) and East Peoria (466) finished in front of Limestone and Pekin.
The final conference standings, a combination of dual match and tournament results, had Washington, Metamora, Morton, Dunlap, Canton, East Peoria, Limestone and Pekin.
Washington’s Kinsinger and Metelak and Morton’s Makuta and Walter were among eight golfers who made first team all-conference based on a point system. Washington’s Rachael Feeney and East Peoria’s Erika Whitaker were among eight second team all-conference golfers.
Pekin won the conference title five straight years from 2007-2011 and in 2013 and 2014. Morton was the conference champ in 2006, the first year for Mid-Illini girls golf, and 2012.